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Zandonai’s early 20th-century melodrama Francesca da Rimini returns to the Met for its first revival in more than 25 years, in Piero Faggioni’s opulent and realistic production. Marco Armiliato conducts Eva-Maria Westbroek in the title role of a noblewoman who is tricked into marrying the brutal Gianciotto, sung by Mark Delavan, instead of her true love Paolo, sung by Marcello Giordani. Robert Brubaker sings the wicked Malatestino, whose jealousy incites a murder.
A lecture will precede the opera at 11:15 am in the Balcony Lounge to be conducted by Mary Ann Archer.
Mary Ann Archer, flutist and piccoloist, was a member of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in New York City for over 26 years, from 1977 to 2003, during a period of great artistic acclaim for that ensemble. The orchestra was regularly cited as one of the world’s best for its opera and concert performances in New York at the Met and Carnegie Hall as well as throughout the United States, Europe, and Japan. Ms. Archer can be heard on many of the Met’s video and audio recordings. She took early retirement from the Met in the fall of 2003 to pursue solo and chamber music work.
Mary Ann is currently Lecturer in Fine Arts at Hampden-Sydney College, and she works with Christina Ball and her colleagues at Speak! Language Center here in Charlottesville. Mary Ann’s lecture will focus on the background of the opera, including the historical Francesca, Dante, D’Annunzio and the actress Duse, She will also share her memories of playing the opera in the pit and also in costume on the stage.
Approximate runtime: 3 hrs. 57 min.